O what are my sufferings

In comparison to the ones

That tested the very spirit of men

Far greater than me.

Can I ever claim to possess

The patience of Job*?

Or the endurance of Moses*?

Can I stay in the belly of a fish

For three days and nights

And still keep praising my God?

Can I be as brave and full of trust

In God Almighty as Abraham* was?

Can I lose my sight while weeping

For the son I loved most of all

Like Jacob* did, for several years?

Can I be like the Christ who

Despite being a youth in his thirties

Chose to take on himself the task

Of bringing back the "lost sheep of God"

To the ken from where they had flocked

Each on a way gone quite astray

Than the one shown by Lord God

In the scriptures inspired in David*

Moses and Aaron*?

And can I be like Muhammad of Arabia*

The man who came as God's mercy

Not to just his nation but the world in all?

Can I be Husain*, the son of Ali*

Who was tested to the limits of human endurance

And the very extremes of patience

Along with his seventy two faithful followers

Who preferred 'death' to dishonour

And courageously bowed not to the will of evil

As represented by Ibn-e-Ziyad* and Shimr* the coward*?

Along with their army of 10,000, in Karbala, Iraq?

Can I stay without food and water for ten days

And still remain committed to the ideals

Of the religion of Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad?

No, I cannot be like any one of these noble men

Who were chosen to be what they became

Because God knew the grit and virtues they had

Imbibed in them like the best concrete

And honed to be the best with the passage of time.

How can I ever be like these valiant and great ones?

I cannot, even if I want to

Because I am just a poet, an ordinary man

A journalist who writes the truth whenever he can

A person who cannot tolerate injustice

And does his best to fight avarice...

But according to the rules of the editor

And the 'Chief Operating Officer' who pays me my dough

At the first of every month.

Yes, I do bend and break

When I think of my loved one

My friends and my dependents...

And this is the fungus which is eating up my soul

As my conscience yells against me

Cursing me for the timidity of spirit

I have... and which makes me crumble

To make compromises with the bosses I have.

O yes, I do want to be noble, brave and valiant

Like all the warriors and servants of God

Mentioned by me in my thoughts above.

But can I ever be so?

I pray and pray, for days and nights

And still the nervousness in me does not let go

And keeps enchaining me to my mortal goals!

And I find myself looking at the mirror reflection

Daily as I stand to shave and wash my face

It tells me almost mockingly

That I am still nothing more than

A plain, fragile, working man

Who lacks the faith to be really something

Who loves his own more than he loves God...

Author's Notes/Comments: 

*The names mentioned as starred ones are those of Prophets and God's messengers as mentioned in the Bible and the Glorious Qur'an. May the Peace and Blessings of God Almighty be upon all these men and the women and children who stood by them at all times...Aameen/Amen.
I have mentioned the name of another great man of God called Hussain. He was the son of Ali, Prophet Muhammad's cousin, his son-in-law and the fourth Caliph of the first Muslim era described by historians as the era of the righteous caliphs. Hussain embraced martyrdom after a long period of political intrigue and great suffering of body, mind and soul...a test of patience to the extreme...and was killed without lifting his sword against his enemies in the battlefield of Karbala in Iraq...He defied the un-Islamic policies of those who had usurped his right to become the chosen caliph of the majority of Arabs living at that time. Hussain and the events of Karbala prove that Islam, as claimed by some biased men and women, was not spread by the sword. It is a religion of complete submission to the Will of God Almighty and embodies tolerance, piety and peaceful ideals.
This poem was inspired after a reflection on what I am going through these days...fighting against the odds stacked up against me and at times feeling low and weak of spirit...and the mind thinks of how all the great men I have written about in the poem here showed the will power, faith in God and the fortitude to rise above the self and do their best for the greater mass of humanity, throughout the centuries...and I still pray to be like one of them.
The names :Ibn-e-Ziyad and Shimr, mentioned in the lines above are of the Kufa rebels who marched on with an army of 10,000 well trained soldiers to stop Hussain from going to Baghdad or return to Madinah. History reveals much more if the reader has the inclination to read and find out what the truth about Truth is...

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